University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture
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Abstract

Periodic assessment of goals is critical to maintaining a successful academic program. Two surveys were designed and distributed to alumni and potential employers of graduates of the Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences (CSES) in the summer of 2002 to assess the profitability of advanced degrees in terms of earning potential and to determine sectors of the workforce currently employing department graduates. The CSES Alumni Satisfaction Survey was sent to 792 department alumni, including graduates of the previous Agronomy program as well as the current Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences program. The CSES Employer Survey was distributed to 281 professionals and provided valuable information concerning current workforce requirements of college graduates. Survey results suggested that alumni career paths are changing; alumni are employed quickly, but fewer alumni are self- or government-employed while more are working in industry positions. Results from the CSES Employer Survey suggest that alumni are earning salaries typical for this region. Alumni salaries also indicated that advanced degrees are profitable in that the number of alumni reporting higher-end salaries increased to a greater extent among M.S. and Ph.D. graduates. These results will be used to enhance recruitment of prospective students and to improve advisement of current departmental students. Ultimately, the CSES Department hopes to increase enrollment, student satisfaction with degree programs, and career preparedness.

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